Just five days remain for Democrats and Republicans to hammer out some kind of deal before the U.S. economy gets walloped with some $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts at the federal level.
It's unclear if the parties can reach a fiscal cliff deal before the New Year, although they've shown little hope they can agree.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner on Friday put the burden on the president and the Democrat-controlled Senate to make the next move after they rejected his big concession on tax rates. Boehner agreed to extend tax rates on incomes under $400,000 (reduced from his previous threshold of $1,000,000) in exchange for steep spending cuts to reduce the swollen federal deficit.
"I don't want taxes to go up; Republicans don't want taxes to go up. But we only run the House. Democrats continue to run Washington," a frustrated Boehner said in a press conference Friday after he failed to rally support for his "Plan B," which never even made it to a vote among his own party.
While both sides have reduced expectations for an all-or-nothing deal, the two parties are still miles apart. Lawmakers are already prepping for the blame game should the New Year come without resolution.